Family…The word is often used to describe any group that is mutually supportive and protective of one another. In chemistry, the term “family” is used to describe a group of materials that derive from a similar structure or function. schülke has combined these concepts by creating a family of related preservative blends around the supportive and protective properties of ethylhexylglycerin.
Ethylhexylglycerin was introduced to the personal care industry in 1991 by schülke as sensiva® SC 50 (INCI: Ethylhexylglycerin). The ingredient was initially introduced as a substitute for triclosan in deodorant products. Ethylhexylglycerin reliably inhibits the growth and multiplication of Gram positive, odor-causing bacteria, while at the same time leaving beneficial skin flora unaffected. It has also been shown to improve the efficacy of many traditional preservatives such as such as phenoxyethanol, methylisothiazolinone or methylparaben as well as other multifunctional materials such as glycols and fragrance components.
The boosting effect that ethylhexylglycerin has on many antimicrobial materials is well established and described in several patents. euxyl® PE 9010 (INCI: Phenoxyethanol (and) Ethylhexylglycerin) was launched in 2004. It was the first in a growing family of ethylhexylglycerin-boosted preservative blends available to personal care chemists. This broad-spectrum, liquid preservative system is globally approved. The addition of ethylhexylglycerin affects the interfacial tension at the cell membrane of microorganisms, improving the preservative activity of phenoxyethanol. euxyl® PE 9010 has a broad, balanced spectrum of effect against bacteria, yeasts and mould fungi, and has become popular as a direct substitute for phenoxyethanol/ paraben blends.
+ Phenethyl Alcohol
This same boosting effect can be seen when ethylhexylglycerin is combined with other materials. One such material, phenethyl alcohol, occurs widely in many essential oils, and can be used as a fragrance component. Other properties of phenethyl alcohol make it an excellent choice to help maintain the microbiological stability of personal care formulas. These properties are boosted in sensiva® PA 20 (INCI: Ethylhexylglycerin (and) Phenethyl Alcohol) by pairing it with ethylhexylglycerin. As can be seen in Figure 1, both euxyl® PE 9010 and sensiva® PA 20 can be used at a level of 1% by weight to preserve an oil-in-water cream.
+ Benzyl Alcohol
Most recently, schülke has extended this family of products to include euxyl® K 900 (INCI: Benzyl Alcohol (and) Etheylhexylglycerin (and) Tocopherol). In this latest product, the support of ethylhexylglycerin is used to boost the antimicrobial activity of another aromatic alcohol, benzyl alcohol. The combination with ethylhexylglycerin gives benzyl alcohol the broad spectrum needed to make euxyl® K 900 a perfect preservative, and is still gentle enough for eye-area products where the reduction of sting potential is important. This newest addition to the family of ethylhexylglycerin-boosted preservative blends works similarly to its older siblings, as can be seen in Figure 2 and Figure 3.
Family offers support and protection—ethylhexylglycerin lends support to the antimicrobial protection offered by schülke’s family of products.
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